Leadership in the 21st Century

Posted on

I have come to learn that being a leader in the twenty first century is not what it was in the prior century. Having stated that, I am also realizing more and more that the people in leadership in 2017 have not grown into the century, rather they are still practicing the skills that were working in the 1990’s or even prior. The importance of me sharing this publicly is that I am frustrated because society is going to continue to move ahead, yet the people who are trying their best to hold us back are the leaders of the past.

The business model of today has to focus on multiple generations of people within; and to do this it needs to understand that each of these generations is focused in a different way of being developed and or evaluated. The people who left the workplace already or are on the way out have developed the leadership that is currently in charge, yet this system does not work with much of the modern worker.  This system is designed around the “because I said so” model and within it is the “because I am right” perspective. Society does not look at amazing leaders and focus on how right they were, rather they review them for what they did differently and or what they were able to accomplish that was different from the norm.

Over the past several years I have had the opportunity to speak with great leaders who spend the time discussing their teams and what a difference they make. These people have spent their time to help others and in turn help their businesses to succeed. What this means is that leadership in the 21st century is about growing the people around you, not just the few people who have to support you, rather others, so that your corporate environment can grow organically as well as horizontally.

The old model was a top down approach that the people who were given the chance to lead alongside you were people that were friends, who were not able to question you, for fear that they earned their leadership by the grace of your gift. This model has continued and unfortunately still is part of our culture in 2017. Putting this model onto paper, it would seem as if it reads that modern leadership is a gift rather than earned, which is well known by many people. So to move up, people give up their ideas, their true focus on leadership and they adapt to the culture of their workplace just to achieve an opportunity for a voice. Doing this is called group polarization. This is not a positive model for leadership and may be the reason that the youth of today are more comfortable changing jobs and reaching for new opportunities, they simply don’t like the model of leadership that is being implemented in the work place.

I am not advocating for a lack of leadership, rather I believe that what people truly need is for a leader who is willing to be part of the team, to be part of the solution and to either be able to do the position themselves or to learn from those who are the experts. Leadership is not a hierarchy, it is a part of the organization and has a role to play. This means leaders need to be focused on what it will take to make the organization develop and enhance. When we read of great leaders, we never read of a person who was the ultimate ruler of their domain, rather we spend the time reading about the glowing opportunities that those around the leader were given, how these people became better because of the leader, and from this how the organization flourished because the leader empowered their people to be great.

Books have been written about great leaders, and books have been written about how great leaders work to promote those around them to be great. When these stories arrive, people soak up the knowledge of leadership, yet they don’t remain focused on what leaders do – just the results.

For leadership success to occur in 2018 and beyond, the system of leadership learning is going to need to change. People who are given the reigns to lead also need to listen. This means that when concerns, issues and or other problems arise, it is not healthy to sweep issues under a proverbial rug, because the people within the organization know exactly what is going on, and they turn on leaders. For leadership to work, people in positions of authority will need to step up their game to listen and act on issues, always maintaining a balance between human resources, human expectation and the goal of the organization.

A last important observation in analysis of the modern leadership necessities is the ability to say no when pushed by other leaders. Too often a leader in need of a position near them hires on a friend or someone that they have gotten to know well, so they can trust what this person is doing, and since this person feels allegiance to the leader, they have no voice to say no. The reality is that without this voice, the true leadership necessary is not available, and so the organization becomes toxic. Something as simple as hiring people who will say no, or will be honest and or will help to build the organization because it’s the right thing to do, are the leaders you need, not the followers you want.

Leadership of people is a lonely position that a few people are good at. Study them, research their abilities, skills, styles and attitudes, for great leaders are all the same, they understand people first.


It is not Vouchers – its Accountability

Posted on

In the Orlando newspaper there is discussion over the mechanism to bolster private schools through various state devised scholarships and or vouchers.



For many years I have fought openly against these types of schemes for their whole system is designed to grow private education at the detriment of public education systems. My issue is always accountability.

Why would politicians need to create a system of vouchers is a question that many should be asking. If the answer was as simple as we are told – the private schools offer an accountable system which is not occurring within the public schools. Unfortunately this is an outright lie.

Politicians continue to double down on vouchers, charter schools and other mechanisms without accountability while forcing more accountability on private schools.

The argument for vouchers and charters continues to be choice – and people who are pushed to believe that public schools offer no choice send their child to one of these politically designed schools. Whenever a charter is created it’s the rules of that environment and for the most part all voucher and charter schools are Charter based in their development – which means they are not held to any rules of accountability at the state level.

Hiring practices are ignored, certifications are ignored and quite frankly, caring for the kids is generally ignored as well.

So when this system comes under attack, the idea of being wrong brings upon further attack. Recently I was reading where State politicians stated that psychology has openly guided people to know that learning styles mean offering children carious avenues to learn. The problem with this statement is that psychology does not concur with learning styles, rather the psychological research says the exact opposite of what the politicians are hoping people to believe. Then there is the whole argument that every child deserves a unique education, yet this is what public school offers through rules created at a Federal level, whereas in private education this is not mandated.

The general public is not aware of the politics that is occurring behind the scenes for each of these gifts that are given out through political channels. Education in America is very much a political animal as the money allocated through it is excessive, yet, at each turn politicians should not be the ones making the educational decisions. When considering the value of a voucher, when sending a child to a different school, the child should be seen as improving, yet this rarely happens, rather the voucher sends the child to a for profit education center, where the motivation is profit, not teaching or learning.

The press has continued to write articles against the abuse of this educational system, yet for whatever reason the politicians continue to push it and the people continue to believe in it. So in reviewing documents, articles, research and more, I am at a loss for understanding.

Whether the argument is charter schools, vouchers, stem programs, technology focused etc, the result is always the same, for profit programs focus on dollar signs instead of effortful processing, which is what is necessary for learning.

At the time that vouchers and charter schools came to be, the international body for measuring student knowledge and success placed the United States in the middle of the pack and or near the bottom of the list for education. Rather than find a system in which the United States could assess itself as a nation, the political machine has argued that the reason for this is that public schools are failing students, and that only a strong, moral and or religious education is the key to success. The reality of this argument remains inconsistent, in that countries which have a national standard and have a path toward national success tend to have better educators, more connected schools and more involved students. The United States has some amazing students who are the cream of the crop and move up toward equality with the rest of the world, yet where it fails is that after this top 20%, the rest are far below.

The issue is not that we need charter schools or private schools, we need one standard of expectation that everyone can attain. There was an attempt to make this happen, yet the political machine did not like that there was a possibility curriculum would be instituted against the philosophy of each state, so they began to fight a system they created. The result was that the nation of education went back to State driven mandates for public schools and find an avenue for profit so that education can remain a business; while allowing for profit centers to be created without accountability. The result continues to be a for profit model in which the kids are not the product, rather they are widget leading to profit. To combat this, we need to deconstruct this focus on vouchers and charter schools and move the resources back to a model of accountability.

I do fully understand the concept of choice, yet I cannot accept it without the primary argument of equity for all within the classroom and a structure of accountability for all around the nation. Use the monies collected for education through taxes for a public education and the monies paid for by families desiring private education to be private, yet either way, the Nation and the State needs to be on the same page for accountability and content. To measure all of this we have a national test which the students take each year to see where they are at. Finally if a school is accepting of public money then it no longer can carry the label private, and it is held to all the same rules as all other public schools, then the issues of accountability are taken care of, and the standard of care for each child will be monitored.

It’s Not the Guns – It’s the Lack of Leadership

Posted on

The Brain Knows what the eyes see and the Brain understands what the Ears Hear. This is the sentence a cognitive psychologist I knew many years used to share with others. His discussions focused around human behavior and why it is the way it is.

On October 2nd 2017 a human being made a choice to use violence to destroy the lives of others. This individual was not abnormal, not mentally insane and nor did he crack. I have heard many on the news and others use these concepts to explain away the behavior of this individual, yet out of respect for the people that are still alive, do not trivialize what is going on.

When a person makes a choice to destroy other people’s lives, they do so with their brain. They are not insane, they are making a mental decision no different than a decision of which milk to choose. The ideology of morals is a human factor, and one in which we as a society need to be careful how we represent in our speech. If we as a human species are to continue to perpetuate violence at every opportunity, then an act as awful as the events this week or the past several years should not come as a surprise.

In 2012 I recall having a conversation with several highly intelligent people while on a walk along the boardwalk. My conclusion of analysis at that time was that the human species will continue to be developed into an angry society as all they see around them is anger. This idea has been further developed as we have witnessed many varying acts of terror in the past 5 years. What intrigues me most about all of these situations is the public and political rhetoric that follows.

To begin with, to my intrigue the largest mass shooting in America not caused by war is not considered to be an act of terror, rather it is just a local individual whose belief system is not what it should be. This is the message that is being shared since the powers that be cannot find a way to tie this individual to Islam and or any other Islamic group. The importance of this message is not lost by many who are hearing it, yet it is very much an argument for those that believe white people cannot cause terror.
Respectfully, the choice to cause terror is different to what is terrorism, so in actuality this is not an act of terrorism, yet the general public is not aware of this difference, so it should be important for the press to teach and guide the people, yet in doing so the press loses its opportunity for more social development, therefore it won’t do this. This is definitely an act of terror, caused by a white male who is not mentally insane, rather he is was simply a person who choose his path toward the end of his life. His choice seems very similar to video games in which he was the sniper shooting his victims for fun until such a time as he was caught himself. The only difference is that in video games the people come back to life and as a player we respawn. An argument back to me would be – he should have known the difference. I believe from what I have been reading, he did know the difference, yet he came to the conclusion that it was worth it to make his world a video game. Not mentally insane, rather mental choice for destruction – and with that in mind, there is no direct law against this – until the law is violated.

The political hemisphere is lined with leaders who will yell loudly this is not about guns and it’s not about mental health, rather it’s a lone gun man who went rogue. I agree with these people, for they truly believe that their version of the story is true. The problem is that the data does not have the powerful pockets that capitalism has – and therefore, the leaders of today are not truly leaders, they are followers of the capitalist desires. It’s not about guns, it’s about humanity. Perhaps it is time for leaders who are willing to lead, to be elected and make the rules. The knowledge of people in America is of two factions fighting one another without any desire to see the other side, which to me means that leadership is not leading, rather they are creating a system of maintaining for their own benefit.

The issues in the nation are because leaders are not willing to lead. They are spending their time maintaining a base of ideology so that the human being is only given the opportunity to think the one way. Until we as a society are willing to pick leaders who know how to work together and work for the aspect of humanity and not for the benefit of corporations we will not stop reading about people who use weapons to destroy lives.

Why Being Vigilant Matters

Posted on

I have read many people making posts and comments arguing against the protests in America. Some say protesting is just sour grapes, others say it’s the left rallying a cry for their own failure. There are so many reasons being shared for why these protests are an attack against the Conservative movement – yet it would seem to me that the anger of the conservatives is speaking louder than the reality of the situation.

On Saturday, the world was watching the protests and participating in unison. They did so because they are afraid of what is occurring at this time in America.

In Trump’s first speech he said “America first and America only”. It sounds like a great idea if you are just a small isolated nation – yet America is not isolated – it is the democratic model that every country wishes it could be. Changing that model and reverting back in time is a conservative hope, yet is it ever a reality?

Yes – America has faults and problems – yet on the international stage – America’s brand is the one that the world prefers – regardless of what the news shares. So when a person is elected President who has shown his true colors which harbor many issues with groups other than White Males – the world perks up. They worry and perhaps for good reason – history has taught them that these types of rulers are an issue and often bring a cloud of devastation with them.

The woman’s march yesterday was not isolated to America – it was worldwide. It was a march of solidarity to show a hope that the work of humanism will not be destroyed by the country that has pushed it forward for the past 60 years. It’s a hope that the people of America call themselves to action against any tyranny – not just an acceptance that the system of balance will work just because it’s expected to.

I am a Republican who in 2010 began a shift away from Conservatism. There is a difference between the two concepts- and in that difference I align with Lincoln who fought for the people and for the future of a great nation. The conservative movement fought hard to stop any agenda of a Black president whose agenda was to push humanism and science. The agenda itself, which was successful moving forward, is not abhorrent – unless you are that conservative minded person afraid of change.

Yes – humanism in other nations is far behind America – yet events such as the Arab Spring was possible because America showed them through its history that a voice is powerful against a tyrant. Coups are possible for the same reason.

Sadly some people turn toward violence over peaceful protests – yet the peace of Martin Luther King was balanced by the violence of Malcolm X – which combined to help put black people and their plight into the national discussion. It took the work of both movements to gain national attention and action.

Women of 2017 have it far better thanks to women who protested in the 1920’s and 40’s – yet their fight is not over. This is the same for every group who is not integrated into the white American culture without question.

When the world is concerned; when the most powerful (in most every way) nation of the world votes in a leader – I go back to my research.

“Make America great Again”

Again is the word that concerns me and what I believe is the word that got him elected. So how far back are we going to find when America was great? If the concern is solely Obama and wanting to return to before his presidency – then that comment is purely based in racism, sexism, homophobia or fear that the Liberals were actually successful in their attempt at progressing American society.

Is it a return back to the Bush days when we went to attack the enemy in terrorism and learned how hard it is to wipe out an enemy?

Is it a return back to the Clinton presidency who developed the criteria for outsourcing based on the desire of furthering profits by corporations?

Is it a return back to Reagan who expanded the military, worked towards nuclear proliferation, caused Russia to retreat and constructed the tightest of rules when it came to maintaining profit over progress? Just how far back do we go to meet the word “Again”?

So as we watch and protest the desire for a modern American exceptionalism – if the outcome is the furthering of America as a global leader, and to take the policies of past Presidents and improving them – then I’m in. If I see none of that occurring – then the marches yesterday around the world were correct and I’ll come back to these words — America is Already great – let’s make it Greater 🙂

Thanks for reading


How the Right got it Wrong!

Posted on

So I have been very critical of Trump from the start. I have spent my life being analyzed and in turn analyzing behavior. Technically I teach Psychology at the high school and college level. I read psychology papers on behavior and political news. Some call me a junkie – yet my addiction is human personality and leadership.

Trump for me has always been a dangerous wild card. He shows every trait of a sociopath (so does Clinton) which guides me to understand why people are drawn to him.

In the primaries I referred to him as the modern Hitler and people bashed me as a traitor to the Republican Party. It is fair to the people that believe in Trump that they do not see what some others see – this is why dictator type of individual gets into power. The problem with Hitler was that people were angry, upset and seeking a way to defeat the world for the embarrassment of losing WW1.

America has created the same atmosphere in that it is angry too. It is angry that black people have been given the right of human, it is angry that women have been given a voice and it is angry that history has pointed out some of its past weaknesses. This anger does not subside quickly, even though it should. So the fighting continues within the social politics of right versus inhumane.

I have before and continue to say we need to move beyond the anger, and grow up, yet this election teaches me that many other people are not ready to do so. The Republican Party had a couple of good candidates to choose from, yet they opted for Trump. Considering some of the people I know who helped in nominating him – I stop to consider why. The argument that he is not establishment should not play loudly – as any quality leader knows the importance of understanding the system.

Yet – the media pushed this rhetoric that America needs a non-politico to run. Why? Why would the media have a hand in this? My answer is simple – the Tea Party brought along so much hate that it sold news. Then as the nation began to realize what the Tea Party really was – they lost opportunity and have become almost nil in the political world.

For the media to sell its story and for America to remain constantly turned on one another, bring along 10 Republicans who are similar and a few others (outsiders). Pump the others and push for an avenue where the people feel that insiders are corrupt while outsiders (who basically are part of the corrupt system) seem more electable. This is done purposefully so that the average person feels represented. Bring along one of the most corrupt people for whom the media already enjoys – Donald Trump. This man is so far from the norm that to make him worthy is nothing short of a media miracle.

The problem is that this is America the country, not America the game show. The people of this country are the same as any other nation, they are susceptible to influence. Furthering the problem is that the people of the Republican Party have chosen to believe in a man who in prior elections would have not been considered at all. The Democrats have for years been the party that allowed for human error and inconsistencies to be forgiven and worked to massage that person toward success, yet they never openly admitted a person without any moral virtue (Bill Clinton hid most all of his indiscretions from the general public). The Republican Party was the moral party and the party of family values. As a party it got attacked for being too stagnant, never changing and for the belief that God was their guide. They were the party who pushed the Bible to no end. Over the past 3 election cycles people argued that the approach from the Republicans needed to loosen as they kept fighting issues that were losing battles, yet they stood firm. I for one argued that the parties spent too much time fighting losing battles and to maintain the primary principles and leave the human issues alone.

The media that helped to create and escalate a Trump to known status has also allowed for what is going on in our country today. We have 2 people running for President. One of them has a checkered past involved in the spotlight of governance for 30 years, is a woman and has a problem understanding how email works. We can blame her for Benghazi – although only loosely, we can blame her for her cheating husband – although only loosely, we can blame her for voting for war – yet Republicans all agreed to this. So other than email, we can’t pin the tail on any of this Donkey.

Her opponent is the creation of the media. He is a bigot, a misogynist, a racist, liar and opportunist. He will do and say whatever comes to mind just to convince people they should vote for him, yet at each point he has no real values. He goes to Mexico and lies about a meeting involving building a wall – (folks the wall will not be built), he says openly he never wanted a war, then the truth arrived. He says that being him is the greatest thing ever: and that being President of America – he knows how to run a company and make American great again – even after bankrupting several companies, outsourcing jobs from this country, ignoring payment to employees, hiring illegals, taking money from others and not paying them back, not paying taxes and perhaps fondling women because he is famous. This rhetoric has created great media opportunity, yet leaves the world watching a country that is imploding from the inside. Not because of economic issues, but because of moral ones. The party of moral principle has allowed this man to succeed, in an era which should never be acceptable.

I actually heard on CNN a commentator defending Trump by saying “our president doesn’t have to be moral. He’s not the Pope”. Others have repeated the same. This is true – the President of America is not the pope – he is in fact far more powerful. He does not lead just one religious sect, he and perhaps she leads the entire world. For America is the wealthiest nation (GDP) and the one in which we learned in 2007 can cause the world to get the flu when we have a cold.

This past weekend audio recordings were released with Trump openly admitting that he gropes people and takes what he pleases.
Before you excuse this behavior because Bill Clinton did it. Bill Clinton was impeached by an irate Republican party. Anthony Weiner was removed by an irate Republican party for sharing his genitals online. Larry Craig was removed as a Republican – from congress for similar behavior, Mark Foley was removed for the same reason. Before people say to Trump that its ok, that is just locker room talk – would you raise your child accepting that sentiment.

In my house, neither of my children will be allowed to speak that way and as a parent if I learn it occurs, my child will apologies openly to a school or team for such crude behavior.

I am also raising a daughter and teach almost 200 women per year that the most powerful voice they have is their own. If we allow for such male behavior to be accepted, then my statements above are true, men are going to maintain the lowering of women to empower themselves.
Trump has openly stated every action he desires – and being allowed to sexually abuse half the planet is far from Presidential. People also say that Clinton will destroy America if elected – I respond with a very simple answer – we already know her politics and that she stands to fight for what she believes in. Whether it is marriage (she held the sanctity for better or worse), her country (Senator and Secretary of State) and quite frankly her consistency. Trump has upheld nothing that does not suit Trump – which is exactly the behavior of a Dictator, not the leader of the Free world.

I am not sure what 4 years with Clinton or Trump will bring, yet I am not willing to see how much frothing the media will earn by a Trump election or how embarrassed this nation will be by a Trump election. The past year has been embarrassing enough – so out of respect for the Party I have called mine – I will await the end of this election and expect the Republican party to willingly deconstruct and rebuild as a newer, stronger, more respectful party, that symbolizes less government, lower taxes and an increased focus on the human being.


The Need for a New Politician

Posted on

The Florida Primaries are behind us and we learned a lot from them. There is nothing more humbling to a political leader than to serve the community they represent, yet when there is an election such as this, there is a message being sent from the community. Watching this election closely, I believe it is time for a new, modern politician to emerge who can and needs to reach the people in several ways.

In the local arena the elected politician has spent much of their time focused on creating internal policies while maintaining an image of perfection outside and whenever possible snapping a picture with the public. Making the people happy that the elected official was at the scene used to be enough. This is not the case anymore.

What I am seeing is a transformation of a public who has not been informed of how the process works, yet they want a hand in helping to create the process. From my years of being involved outside of the political arena as a bystander and now only partially inside, I believe strongly that the process does work. Unfortunately for the majority of people they do not agree and therefore are angry when the process they want to exist does not.

As society continues to become more involved in social media and the ability to send messages to a large group of people without fear of reprise, the more the political arena needs to adapt to the needs of the people. The media plays a large role in the political process, yet what they do not do is educate the people. The media sells stories, they are not teachers of the process.

Politicians would like it if the people who are teachers taught the youth of the land how politics works, yet the teachers are not given the inside story either, so in reality, the only way to truly be able to teach the public is to become a politician and then teach others outside of the political process – the political process. Perhaps this is a problem, as the people of 2016 and beyond will want a greater voice in their desires.

What I have seen for the past 10 years is an intense evolution in which the people from both sides of the aisle are becoming more frustrated with the elected officials as they are not considering that each vote is a decision for or against their personal preference. The reality of many situations may come down to legal environments rather than just preferential opportunities in which elected officials may have to vote a certain way. When these situations occur, often the elected official casts their vote and continues on their merry way. The elected official may understand that some people will be upset, yet they leave that vote knowing they have followed the law and continued to keep their particular elected environment safe from lawsuits etc. The people are not necessarily aware of this situation and continue to grow upset. Their emotional reaction is certainly valid, as they are hearing that their preference is being circumvented for the benefit of a few, not the greater good of the many.

There are also situations in which people are running for elected office making promises to the people – which the people want to hear. They want to accomplish every one of the things that they are making promises for, yet the reality is that once a person is elected, they lose much of their power to higher levels of office and or the legal system. Although not a real situation, yet I may want to place a traffic light, expand a road or even add a turn lane to a street in my city, before I can do so there are several agencies and loopholes to maneuver through, that even if I get the chance to vote on my action, the need for that light may be long gone or the patience of the public may have died down.  I have shared openly with several people who have run for office and cautioned them not to make any promises – because each of those promises may lose you a next election when the public gets upset.

To me, the modern environment of politics at all levels requires a new and modern elected official. These people have to be willing to engage with the public socially, they have to be even more transparent and beyond all of this, they have to always be there for the people. The last part may seem as if it was always like this, yet the reality is that in the past word of mouth spread through a community and people voted for the person they liked and who most represent them. In 2016 the majority of the people are no longer just part of one party, many of them have become issue’s people who want to know how you are dealing with their issue.

The ability for a politician to truly be part of the people is to be part of the people. They have to interact with the people, where the people are and listen to the people. I have found that telling the truth to the people is perfectly fine, they may not like what it is that I’m saying, yet with the right amount of explanation, proof and truth, then the people know they can trust me. When blanket statement are made that the people want to hear, then I cannot deliver, the people are going to get frustrated and assume that the crooked system has stolen me and made me one of theirs.

Stated above, I mention the crooked system. There is certainly a system in play, yet it is not as crooked as people may think. Media, television and books write often about a crooked system, yet looking inside the system is far more empowering than staring from the outside and questioning what is going on. The system needs to allow for people to enter it and see for themselves what occurs. When an election such as the one occurring in 2016 arrives, there is a reason for so much difference; the people have not been heard. We can argue that each side is listening to its people, yet in reality neither side has done a good job of listening. The people will then remove many elected officials that it feels are not listening enough and replace them with new people, who will enter into the system and be taught what they never knew prior, that there is a system in place and like or not, they have to work within it. Entering into a system and trying to force it to change will cause that newly elected person to continually fight upstream and achieve nothing.

So in turn, a good elected official in 2016 will learn how the system works and do what they can to facilitate that change so that the public are able to understand. Perhaps the official keeps a blog, has regular meetings, creates a Facebook page to hear the thoughts of citizens and respond in kind. These are all options that bring back the concept of the local church meetings, which it seems we have moved away from in the hopes that the people will just let the politicians govern. The people are not happy with this solution and they want back in – perhaps it is time to let them, or we will continue to face newly elected officials and lose institutional knowledge every single election.

The Mental Health State of the Orlando Shootings

Posted on Updated on

The following is my analysis of the recent shootings in Orlando:

Orlando has certainly been in the news over the past 2 weeks. For me, the experience was more than surreal as it is the area I call home, yet I was not home at the time of the events. I was away working which allowed for me to have a differing perspective.

I awoke on Saturday morning to the news sharing that a singer -Christina Grimmie – had been shot while signing autographs. This was an awful story to read and certainly one that made me wonder what was going on with the world. It is scary enough to think that people have such access to a weapon that can destroy with very little effort (I know the 2nd amendment for those that are irked already); yet to once again read a story of someone with this much anger using such a weapon to remove a life from this earth just because they felt it was ok to do is maddening.

In respect to this young lady (Christina Grimmie) your light was exterminated many years before your time, yet, it would seem that another man had anger in his mind, as he arrived the same night of your death at another nightclub to destroy as many people as he could with a different gun. This particular event shares with Orlando and the rest of the country how fragile the laws are in relation to guns and mental health.

As stated above, in both of these situations, the victims were shot with a gun. Christina Grimmie died at the hands of a man who shot her then after a scuffle turned the gun on himself. Perhaps there was a mental state within the shooter that was of pure anger or it may just simply have been what we have learned that he was infatuated with her and expected her to respond in kind. A similar story occurred like this when a shooter (John Hinkley) sought the attention of an actress and shot President Reagan. The country rallied at that time and came to the conclusion that there may be a need for gun control and even created a cooling off period. This makes sense in cases where people get into an argument, yet there is no system that is out there to help people in the mental health world.

A few hours later, a man who had the desire of destruction in his mind and heart choose to use guns to destroy the lives of 49 people and wound many others. As the story unfolded from my location, which was not in Orlando, the feeling was surreal. I live close enough to the location of this mass shooting, yet being far away on the day of and even through a week later, I have time to sit back and allow my inner anger to subside while my heart comes to terms with what is going on.

Information on the shooter has come out that he was a problem child in school, being suspended often. He had problems as an adult not being able to truly connect with any specific group. His wife stated he had anger issues, the club he visited recalls him looking toward men for attention. His desire for guns and the use of them calmed him enough to enjoy the violence of possibility. Any of these situations are now being called red flags, yet as a nation none of them really are. He began to acknowledge his connection to ISIS, yet his family and friends state he was not really religious and none of the terrorist networks knew of him. None of this to me says the man is a terrorist for Islam or for ISIS. Rather he is a lone individual who has a mental state which split.
I believe strongly that the discussion of mental health is not discussed enough when it comes to the honest situation of any of these circumstances. Orlando is working on the process of healing from a mentally unhealthy individual who choose to use the tactic of terror to destroy lives. I believe that the death of Chritina Grimmie falls into the same category.
The city of Orlando has rallied hard to come together and to find a meaning behind this shooting. The press jumped to terrorism because it is easy. The truth to me is that it is not easy, this is a mental health shooting which does not have red flags since we as a society do not accept the review of anger or discipline problems as mental health issues. We do not fund the option for working on mental health issues and we do not focus any attention toward this problem. Orlando is not the first shooting situation in our nation, rather this particular shooting targeted a nightclub. The situation of it being a gay nightclub may have played a factor in the shooters mental state, yet there is no difference in the loss of life, people are still dead because a person with a state of mind other than healthy made this choice. This is no different than the choice of a school or a movie theater, it is a location for which a person who showed many signs of mental health deficiency choose to create harm.

The understanding of this choice is not common, yet it is understood in the research components of psychology. Discussing banning guns for people with mental health will not remove the issues we face today, for the people we want the guns taken away from do not always show issues and or do have ways to find guns. Creating a system whereupon a person with red flags is sent to a counselor to work on their issues sounds like a great idea, yet it slaps the constitution so loudly that the ACLU would not allow it and the politicians would never fund it.

This means, that within the community, we will all bond together, the same as we did for 9/11, Sandy Hook, Columbine and even Denver, yet the ultimate reality is nothing will change. The press will continue to vilify this as an act of terror to sell ratings, and the people of the city will hold onto every word that is said as gospel.

For me, this is the saddest part of the story. Until we are willing as a society to realize that within every community lies many ticking issues that with counseling can be helped, stories such as these will continue.

If you are around people who may have anger issues or maybe showing signs of wanting to target a specific group, ask them to get help. There are support groups out there, yet ranting about one person for what they did in the name of religion or sexual preference is the final step. There are many steps prior to this that can help solve the problem.